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In this video I discuss:
- Pitfalls that most early-stage internet business owners fall into when designing their website
- What to worry about concerning a new website’s design and what not to worry about
- Focusing on traffic-generating activities ONLY at this stage of your business
- What to look for in a website theme on WordPress
Please direct all questions and requests for support to the FIMP Facebook group (free for registered members).
4.10 Transcript Below
So now that we’ve got everything set up and ready to go, I want to talk to you about some really crucial things that – again – most people don’t talk about. But in my experience over the years, this advice sets people up for success very well compared to people just really not talking about this topic extensively.
So I think we can cover it really quickly, but I just want to cover a few key points about choosing your theme which is the design of your website in WordPress. In WordPress, whatever theme you choose really heavily dictates what your design looks like, like what the layout is, et cetera. And also, some really crucial design tips that are specifically for people that are trying to get started in this industry to get you to profit as quickly as possible.
So I want to say you can choose anything you want – which is true. You can ignore everything I’m saying here and choose anything you desire. I would encourage you to keep all of these in mind and stick very closely to the advice that I give in this particular video.
So the things that matter right now are that your site is clean and easy to navigate and that it’s mobile responsive. That’s it. That’s all that matters at this stage. As we get into creating content and working on SEO, there will be other elements we introduce; but as far as the way your website looks right now, this is all that matters. Period.
The things that don’t matter right now and can be added later are: an image header (a header is the kind of banner image that you see at the top of either the home page or pages on the site); picking the perfect colors (I see that so many times, people are struggling so much to figure out what their background color is and what color their font is and stuff. It’s just a waste of time right now. Just flat out, there are better things for you to spend your time on); and all kinds of other stuff that people get caught up in.
But what this all adds up to is it’s very important at this stage that you pick your battles very carefully. As you set out on creating a profitable internet marketing business, you will find that you’re about to encounter over the next several months dozens of battles… probably. And it’s very important that you pick your battles wisely.
And a battle I see a lot of people pick very early on is what their website appearance and design looks like. And they’re trying so hard to get it perfect and really – again, I’ve already said it in this video – it doesn’t really matter. End of the day, doesn’t matter… yet. It will matter down the road but it doesn’t matter until you get traffic regularly and all you need to start getting traffic is a simple website that’s easy to navigate and mobile responsive and high quality content. And we’re going to talk about those other aspects – high quality content, promotion, and stuff down the road – but that’s all you need. That’s the whole foundation of what you need. And so, I really encourage you to focus on traffic producing activities only.
What a lot of people do when they try to get started in this industry is they pick all these battles that they don’t even know don’t matter right now. And I’ve done this myself over the years, so I’m… you know… I’m not the person… you know… to cast the first stone. I’ve done this myself, I’ve made these mistakes, and I’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds of people make this mistake in the past several years as well.
So when we are setting out on the journey to create a profitable internet business, we probably don’t realize it, but most of us, if not all of us have a certain bank of hours that we’re going to put into this before we just give up and before we get burned out and we’re so tired of it, we just say, “Screw this. This whole industry is a scam, I’m not going to do this anymore.” And none of us know what that number is. Nobody knows how many hours are in our bank. And it varies from every individual to the next.
So when you spend 12 or 15 or 30 or 50+ hours just worrying about your site design and sending it out to friends and family or posting it to Facebook groups and you’re just asking, “What does my design look like?” and largely receiving a lot of unqualified feedback – it just really doesn’t matter. The design is not that important at this stage as long as it’s clean, easy to navigate, and mobile responsive.
So for now, like I said, traffic producing activities means we need to focus on high quality content at this stage in our business; and that means we need to not spend too much time on design.
Once you’ve establish your site with enough high quality content, it may also include promotion. There are all kinds of promotion – we’ll talk about those pretty extensively here in the members’ area in another section – but every ounce of energy you spent on anything else right now besides traffic producing activities is wasted.
If you’re just trying to like… you’re like, “Where should I put my affiliate links? Where should I put my banners? My advertisements? What color should my site be? What images should I have? Is my header in throughout my posts?” Within posts images can be very important; but everything else: broad site design, you don’t need to be worrying about placing a bunch of affiliate links, you don’t need to be worrying about having a bunch of banners and stuff that drive people into sales funnels because there are no people yet. And until you have people in the form of traffic, just none of it makes any sense and you can always change all of this stuff later. You’re just delaying how long it takes you to succeed if you spend a lot of time on those particular aspects right now. So with that in mind, choose your battles carefully.
I would prefer that whatever theme you choose, it has no banner or homepage widgets… the kind of… speaking widely of widgets but very generally… but those kind of sections that have like, “This is what we do. This is what we’re about. Check us out here.” And it’s just like these little widgets with these little blurbs of text. They’re a pain in the butt to set up: (A) they vary a lot from theme to theme, (B) and at the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter. You can avoid it completely and just save your hours for things that matter right now.
So I would also prefer that it have a blogroll for the homepage at least while we’re getting started – again, something you can change very easily down the road. But what a blogroll is is when you go to a website and you see their latest posts published there; and you can scroll down and see what their latest posts were; and every time they publish a new post, it automatically gets added to the top of the list – that’s a blogroll.
And that’s just as simple as things get. Anything with similar minimalism within these guidelines is probably going to be fine; but at this point, the less set up, the better. The sooner we get set up, the sooner we can start creating content and doing things that matter that are going to result in traffic. And of course, as we’ve mentioned many times by now, traffic equals money. As long as you do it right.
So sites with complex home pages – like I said, with the little individual snippets and blurbs, and you know, a banner image, et cetera – they take a lot of exploring and tweaking and figuring out. And frankly, a lot of these things in WordPress aren’t standard. It varies widely from them to theme.
And so when you pick something that you haven’t seen someone go through step-by-step or you’re just kind of picking something randomly, a lot of exploring a new theme is just clicking to the settings, changing something, previewing the site, see if it works. Change more settings, preview the site, see if it works. And you just do that over and over again. And then sometimes, you can’t find out what you need adjusted and you just end up digging and digging through all the settings and features until you find out, “Hey! This thing can’t do what I want. I’ve got to change themes,” and then you start all over again. And again, it just turns into a vicious cycle – frankly – of wasted hours.
So let’s take a look at how this is done in WordPress specifically. So here I am at the RueTattoo WordPress Dashboard, the main admin panel. So I’m going to scroll down here to Appearance – just hover over it – and I’m going to go to Themes.
And like I said… you know… we talked about kind of what’s preferred: no banner on the homepage (I said no banner or homepage… I meant no banner on homepage… oh no, I did. I meant no banner or homepage widgets. Okay. Forgive me for everything.)
So if we come in here and we go into the Themes, we want to hit Add New. You could select from one of these – I think I am going to select from one of these – but just to show the theme marketplace really quick, you can go through and waste so much time here as well. But again, everything I’ve shared is what matters most and those aren’t difficult criteria to hit.
So I’m just going to come into Popular. It looks like… so Twenty Seventeen, if I preview this right now, if I hit Live Preview… It’s actually a fairly complex theme especially by WordPress’ standards. You see how I would have to change each one of these images? So now I have to find high quality images for each of these second sections; I have to figure out how to update them in the theme settings; and all of that. Again, it’s just wasted work right now. So I’m going to close out here in Twenty Seventeen. It’s definitely not going to be the theme that I use.
When I come back in here to Popular… and like you can see this one has a banner image. Banner image. All kinds of settings here to tweak. Banner image. This one looks like it could work although there’s an image off to the right… I’m not sure how that would work. Banner image. Banner image. Banner Image. And these, again, are just things we don’t need to worry about right now.
I used to use a theme called Hiero and it’s a really good theme. But at the end of the day, it just is not updated anymore which breaks my heart. So you can see here, this theme hasn’t been updated in over two years. But this was the perfect template for using when you were setting up a website that was just clean and easy to navigate, really simple – all that stuff.
So I think for this particular site, you can scroll through… and again, find something that doesn’t have a banner, preferably has a blogroll on the homepage, and it’s just really clean and simple, very neutral looking. You don’t want to go overboard here unless you’re a really experienced designer or an experienced UX designer which is an abbreviation for ‘User Experience’. I just wouldn’t risk it. Just pick something that’s clean and easy to use and simple. And for me, I think that’s going to be either Twenty Fifteen or Twenty Sixteen which – bonus – are both WordPress themes so they’re maintained pretty well. And all of this stuff on the right-hand side, we’re going to change. As we start building out content, I’ll probably remove most of these widgets, because again, they just don’t matter right now.
But you can see this is a really clean theme. Obviously, we don’t have any content in here yet – which we’re going to fix here in the next video – but either this one… so I’m going to Leave Page… so that one I believe was Twenty Sixteen… and then Twenty Fifteen. Pretty much just as simple except all of the navigation is on the left. So yeah, either one of those is going to work. It just really doesn’t matter. If I had a coin, I’d just flip it up in the air and check right now. It looks like the simpler of the two is going to be Twenty Fifteen, so I’m just going to hit Activate. And yeah, that means that the theme was originally from 2015. Frankly, I don’t care. It’s updated regularly. That’s what matters. It’s not going to be super vulnerable to security hacks and stuff like that. So Twenty Fifteen is going to be my theme. Done.
You can see that it looks like this might be a banner image. This is not a banner image, this is a featured image for a post – which we’ll talk about when we get to that point in creating content and stuff like that.
So, that’s that. I’ve picked my theme. End of the day, it has a blogroll for the homepage which I like; it doesn’t have a banner and a bunch of different settings I have to figure out early on; I can pick this theme; I’ve already activated it; I can just start focusing on content now and get to the things that matter.
So as always, if you have any questions, feel free to post them to the Facebook group – that’s free for registered members. And I will either see you in the Facebook group or I will see you in the next video where we’re going to get your website’s core content set up. And then after that, we are off to the races and we’ll start doing things that get you toward making money online. Talk to you then!